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2018-05 – Exclusive Magazine (Review)

Originally published:

Title – ‘The Single Edits’
Artist – Ben Craven

For those not in the know, Ben Craven is an Australian musician and producer, best known for his 2011 progressive rock album, Great & Terrible Potions, which featured artwork by cover designer Roger Dean.

In 2007, Craven recorded the EP Under Deconstruction as a free download, protesting against the use of DRM in the music industry.

In 2012, Craven assembled three-piece band Ben Craven & The Section specifically for live performances of his album Great & Terrible Potions. The band was interviewed and performed for a live interactive video streaming event in May 2013, in what was billed as a world-first for progressive rock.

Last Chance To Hear was released in 2016, a concept album “loosely inspired by the end of the music industry as we knew it”, featuring guest contributions from Billy Sherwood and William Shatner.

In October 2016, Craven was awarded the Australian Independent Music Award (AIMA) for Best Instrumental, for the track Critical Mass Part 2.

His brand new album, released via Desert Comb Music, is the masterpiece The Single Edits. Including a gatefold cardboard case and 6-page insert with stunning artwork by Freyja Dean, the album has to be, in my humble opinion, one of Craven’s best.

1. ‘Critical Mass Part 2 (Single Edit)’ 03:27)
2. ‘The Remarkable Man (Single Edit)’ (03:53)
3. ‘Ready To Lose (Single Edit)’ (03:37)
4. ‘Aquamarine (Single Edit)’ (03:21)
5. ‘Spy In The Sky Part 3′ – Feat. William Shatner (Single Edit)’ (03:17)
6. ‘Great Divide (Single Edit)’ (04:33)
7. ‘Nobody Dies Forever (Single Edit)’ (02:56)
8. ‘No Specific Harm (Single Edit)’ (03:30)
9. ‘Captain Caper (Single Edit)’ (04:17)
10. ‘Golden Band (Single Edit)’ (05:12)
11. ‘Revenge Of Dr Komodo (Single Edit)’ (02:35)

Progressive rock fans who might have missed his last opus, the aforementioned Last Chance To Hear, will be pleasantly surprised by the concise nature of this brand new album.

The Single Edits showcases Ben’s finest moments from his solo output, both rock vocals and rock instrumentals, compiled and re-imagined as, well, single edits, of course.

With a run time of 41 minutes, the eleven track CD features a magical cross-section from Craven’s album releases and is brimming with fascinating musical ideas. It also includes several remixed, edited prog-pop tracks from his first solo album, Two False Idols.

Indeed, on the track ‘Spy In The Sky Pt. 3,’ Craven enlists the help of spoken work recording artist and Star Trek legend William Shatner and YES member Billy Sherwood.

With each and every track here superbly played, and all written by Craven himself, this is an essential recording for all his fans to now own. A most compelling musical statement from a prog-rock sensation, my only sorrow is that it hasn’t yet been released on a 180g vinyl … yet!